Saturday, April 21, 2012

All from nothing... (part 11)

Our efforts to transform an unused piece of land into a productive vegetable garden. 

Yet another week passes in which I didn't visit the allotment at all. My only excuse is that when I'm working the day job, I want to spend time with my family when I get home, not give them a quick hello and head off for a couple of hours again.

Now that the weekend has finally arrived, we had a proper opportunity to get some real work done on the plot. So yesterday evening, Clare headed over and spent an hour or two building the first of the beds that we'll use to grow veg on. 

This morning dawned sunny and beautiful, so after giving the kids breakfast, we all jumped in the car and traveled over. We brought most of the veg that we've grown with us - the vast majority of the veg are ready to be planted out and it's high time they were. When we got to the allotment, I discovered a little present the landlady had left for me hanging from the gate:

Needless to say, I was delighted with this gift - this simple gesture sums up the type of family we're lucky enough to be friends with. Not that I'd need any present to know how decent they are (after all, they freely offered us the use of the land!). 

We had two objectives for the day - we wanted to plant out at least a few of the veg and also to put up the chicken wire.
My first task was removing the pile of stones I've been accumulating when forking the soil. Clare (and Thomas) helped load up one of the wheelbarrows from the farm, and in two trips, I'd gotten rid of the entire pile. 

Clare then started to dig out the central path that all the vegetable beds will run off. I continued forking through the soil - I need to get this finished for us to be able to fully ulitise the land.
We then began working on putting up the chicken wire - from the gate outwards. After a while, we headed home for lunch. After which, Thomas had to go for his midday nap, so I headed back to the allotment myself and continued putting the chicken wire up. It was slightly slower work doing it on my own - I had to dig a trench (the chicken wire has to be buried below the ground to prevent rabbits digging underneath it) , correctly place the wire, cable-tie to the bull wire and then back fill the trench. 

Luckily, after Thomas woke up, Clare came back down with the kids and helped dig the trench, while I worked putting up the chicken wire.
We managed to get about half the allotment covered before it was time to go home for the afternoon. 

 The (hopefully) rabbit-proof fence.

The chicken wire fencing in place. I feel this is one of the major milestones in setting up the allotment.

When Clare finished, she began sowing celery into it's allotted bed. It was a kind of seminal moment - after all our work and effort we've finally got veg growing in the allotment. 

The celery bed. 
I drove the kids home, and Clare stayed on for a little while, and layed the onion bed down. 

 The onion bed.
When she was finished, she threw some netting over it to prevent birds from eating the sets.
So all in all, I'm really happy with the work we completed today. We're nearly there. 
The allotment as it looked this evening.

1 comment:

David said...

Sweet !